30 Rescario, 1998: Sigil
Aysel moved the streets of Sigil with no particular destination in mind. Her pace was neither slow nor fast, and though she kept the hood of her grey cloak up and her weapons visibly close at hand, (her father’s rapier was in a sheath on her left side, her longbow strapped across her back, and a quiver of arrows on her right side) she went relatively unnoticed by the denizens of the Bird Cage.
It was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the day she first visited the Plane of Origin, known to the natives of that world as the Greatball. The memory of the place haunted her, though she had left it a little over twenty years before hand to retrieve the moonblade that belonged on the Greatball with her half-brother Calavel. She had tried to return countless times since she had succeeded in retrieving the sword, but the way was not open, and she didn’t know if it ever would be again.
She continued her walk through the Market Ward, her eyes flew over the offerings of the vendors, nothing catching her eye. A slow sigh escaped her lips and she continued on her way until she found herself at the end of a long alley in the Lower Ward staring at the Petrified Forest.
She had been there before, one of the first times she had come to the City of Doors, she had met an elven mercenary that had showed her the route to the area. A slight smile crept on her face, she had had her father’s sword and armor partially adjusted for herself here, and found a very rare artifact called a ring of holding that when used on specially prepared reflecting surfaces, opened up into something very much like a bag of holding… except one could walk into it. It was where she kept the artifacts, magical tools and other items and supplies and she had gathered over her years of planewalking that she thought may be useful. Aysel fingered the ring briefly and pushed through the gate, letting her intuition guide her up the stairs that had been built around the stone trunk, and when they ended she passed by the door of the tavern that occupied the tree and navigated through the magically leafed branches until she came to the top.
She looked out into the odd sky of Sigil, and a familiar feeling began to grow over her from the base of her spine. In Sigil, it was the month known as Capricious, a month sponsored by the Xaositects. The most unlikely of events were known to happen in Sigil in this month, and as snow began to drift down, Aysel knew that although as unlikely as it was, there was again a storm in the plane of shadows. Her blood began to rush, she needed to get to a portal that would take her there, she needed a key, and she needed to hurry, because if she could get to the plane of shadows during the storm, she could theoretically planeswalk back into the Greatball.
She hasted herself and took off down the steps of the tree and back out into the open alley way, she knew where the portal to the plane of shadows was, it was just a matter of retrieving her key to it. She wove her way through the alleyway heading towards a strange little corner in the hive ward where an Orcish Celestial hung his halo.
When she got there, the orc in question was preaching to a few street urchins, she lowered her hood and made sure he saw her before leaning against the side of a building to wait for him to finish. After a few minutes he wrapped it up.
“Aiya Gruk, what’s the chant?” she asked.
“Be the same Aysie, be the same. What need?”
“You still have my mirror?”
“Yes, wouldn’t lose it.” He grinned.
“Great, I need it quick.”
He nodded and went back to some of his back piles, bringing the cloth covered mirror with him. She smiled and activated the ring, and stepped in her stash area for a moment, grabbing her key and a few things for the celestial.
She closed the ring and slipped it back on her finger then gave the orc a hug.
“Thanks Gruk, I appreciate it a lot.”
“Aysie leaving Sigil for a while?”
She nodded slightly and gave him the things she had retrieved for him.
“Yes… I found the right portal… you know… to the placed I told you about.”
“Oh…” A flash of concern moved over his face, she had told him what had happened there.
“Don’t worry… I’ll be ok…. This is just something I have to do… take care Gruk, and take care of these people, those packages should help.”
The winged orc nodded and smiled.
“Thank ya Aysie..”
She nodded slightly and took off again, weaving her way through the hive until she came to the dark archway she knew to be a portal to the shadow plane. She took a breath, and stepped through…